Colorado State University ranks 12th in the nation among large universities and colleges for the number of alumni serving as Peace Corps volunteers, according to 2006 rankings recently released by the volunteer organization.
Colorado State ranked 13th last year and consistently lands in the top 15 among universities and colleges with more than 15,000 undergraduates.
There are 57 Colorado State alumni volunteering for the Peace Corps. Since the Peace Corps’ inception in 1961, 1,409 Colorado State alumni have volunteered.
"We’re seeing a huge number of Colorado State students volunteer for the Peace Corps. I’m impressed with the student body. They want to do service," said Martha Denney, director of International Education.
Student interest in joining the volunteer organization, which historically has been strong at Colorado State, increased after Sept. 11, 2001. The university’s strong history of providing volunteers and support to the Peace Corps can be traced to the organization’s beginnings. Colorado State researchers Pauline Birky-Kreutzer and Maury Albertson, answering President John F. Kennedy’s famous call to service, published in 1961 one of the original feasibility studies that led to the creation of the Peace Corps.
"I’m really proud of Colorado State because I feel that our students have a huge amount to contribute and to learn," Denney said. "When all is said and done, we gain more than we give – it completely shifts your life and makes you a better person."
Colorado State also ranks 41st for alumni volunteers with graduate degrees. Colorado State offers Peace Corps master’s programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences, Warner College of Natural Resources, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and Department of English.
Since 1961, more than 187,000 Peace Corps volunteers have served in 139 countries, working in communities to help fight hunger and disease, provide clean water, educate children and help launch new businesses. The vast majority of volunteers have been college graduates.
The Colorado State University Peace Corps office is located in the Office of International Programs, Room 102E Laurel Hall on the main campus, and can be reached at (970) 491-5917.
To contact the Peace Corps, call 1-800-424-8580 or visit the Web at www.peacecorps.gov.